20 Under 25: Laura Spencer 

Artist/illustrator/designer, 22, St. Petersburg

Laura Spencer eyes her self-portrait.

Todd Bates

Laura Spencer eyes her self-portrait.

Why she's getting noticed: Spencer's BFA thesis show, "Idol Worship," consisted of a mock altar to commercial culture. Votive candles wrapped in brilliant caricatures of patron saints Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Kanye West; skateboard decks decorated with figures from Egyptian mythology; and a handsome fake global currency provided both critique and temptation.

Where she studied: Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School, St. Pete; Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, where she was a Trustees' Scholar in Illustration and one of two students on the college's inaugural exchange program with a college in Antwerp.

How she became an artist: Spencer's aunt, Boo Ehrsam, an artist who lives in Pinellas County, began giving her lessons when Spencer was 6 years old. "She really gave me the foundation I work from today," Spencer says.

On making: "If I could wake up in the morning and every sign in the world was better designed, every piece of packaging, every article of clothing, that's the world I one day wish to live in. ... Making art for art's sake is not something I'm necessarily interested in."

Her favorite project to date: A set of murals in a permanent interactive exhibit about Native American history at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

Where she sees herself in the next few years: In the 'burg. Her boyfriend plays in local bands, and her mom runs a salon on Pass-A-Grille Beach. Between commissions, she works at Central Art Supply Company in St. Pete.

Take a look at her work: lauraspencerillustrates.com

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